FieldGlass: Adapting to Every Contingency, Part II

Yesterday, in Part I, we outlined all of the improvements FieldGlass has made to its contingent workforce management platform since SI first covered FieldGlass back in 2010, and discussed in detail its improved rate guidance, rate structure, and job posting process. Today, in Part II, we will cover e-mail approvals, FieldGlass’ new Ask-an-Expert recommendation engine and its powerful timesheet module. Then, tomorrow, in Part III we’ll cover its new Statement of Work (SoW) support.

E-mail Approvals
While this is an “old-news” capability for many supply management platforms, what is surprising is just how much e-mail approvals accelerate the worker selection and approval process. Customers who implement e-mail approvals reduce their cycle time, on average, by 66%! A manager who may not log into the system every day is in her email (every working hour of) every day.

“Ask an Expert” Recommendation Engine
This is a powerful tool for customers who want to take the time to customize the default workflow templates for their organization. By defining the appropriate questions and responses, a manager can be directed to the appropriate labour category for any position and the appropriate process. Is this a temporary position? Contingent? Outsourced to a service provider under contract? Or should it be a full time position that should go through a non-contingent process? And are there appropriate contingent labour providers who can staff the position, or will an RFP need to be issued? (For example, let’s say it’s a one-time integration of a new back-office Supply Management system and no currently approved provider has an expert on staff.) Depending on the need, the system will direct the user to the appropriate course of action, which could be as simple as creating a new instance of an archived job-posting for a 6-month temporary labour position to issuing an RFP to find a new provider for an 18 month systems integration project.

New Timesheet Module
Just like e-mail approvals, timesheet solutions are “old-news” too, except when they are expertly integrated into the contingent workforce solution in such a way that usage for both employees and managers is almost effortless. In the average situation, an employee will just have to enter the number of hours they worked each day during the week because the system will automatically retrieve the projects they are working on and the associated billing codes, and automatically classify overtime. For an average worker on one project, they will have to enter five numbers each week. The system automatically validates each timesheet against statements of work; daily, weekly, monthly and SOW hour limits; and employee work hour/day/month restrictions and generates warnings where manager review/approval is required. A manager can then one-click approve all timesheets without warnings, and, through check-box selection, approve all timesheets with warnings that are expected and acceptable (which will happen if a manager approves overtime on a given project to get it done). This greatly reduces the number of timesheets that require individual review and attention and makes managers much more efficient.

In other words, while a number of these improvements were evolutionary and to-be expected, what is unexpected is how well some of these improvements were integrated. The bulk of the FieldGlass platform is incredibly easy to use for the average manager and approver once initial configuration is done.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the new Statement of Work functionality.